Personal insolvencies in Scotland (awards of bankruptcy and Protected Trusts Deeds).
(showing types of area available in these data)
Note: These may be large files.
Bankruptcy (also known as sequestration in Scotland) is a legal declaration that someone cannot pay their debts. If a person is declared bankrupt, control of things that they own, is passed to a trustee who may sell them to pay money owed to creditors. A regular payment from a person's income may also have to be made.
Protected Trust Deed (PTD) is a form of insolvency that transfers a debtor's estate to a trustee to be realised for the benefit of creditors.
Number of personal insolvencies (count) and the rate per 10,000 adult (aged 16+) population (ratio) in Scotland by local authority. This ratio provides a representative picture of the concentration of bankruptcies and PTDs in Scotland. The statistics are compiled by Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), an executive agency of the Scottish Government. The majority of the statistics presented are derived from AiB administrative records. This dataset covers insolvencies in Scotland. Statistics covering England & Wales, and Northern Ireland are available from The Insolvency Service.
Non-statutory debt solutions, where debtors make their own arrangements with creditors or enter informal debt management plans with a debt management firm, are not included.
This dataset does not contain any sensitive or personal information.
Checks are in place to identify and remove duplication of cases when extracting data from the administrative systems, to ensure that returns cover all debt management solutions, and to check consistency within tables and between related tables.
All formal insolvency procedures entered into by an individual are required by law to be reported to the appropriate body, so the statistics should be a complete record of insolvency in Scotland at the time of publication.
The numbers of bankruptcies and PTDs are based on the date of the order or agreement of the insolvency procedure. They are not based on the date registered on AiB’s administrative recording system.
Personal insolvencies have been classified into geographic areas on the basis of the postcode supplied by the individual. The most recent address is used to classify the debtor's location.
Adult population estimates for each local authority are taken from the National Records of Scotland mid-year estimates. Rate per 10,000 adults (aged 16+) is the specific number of statutory debt solution divided by the number of people aged 16 or over, multiplied by 10,000. A rate of a 100 per 10,000 adults is equivalent to 1% of the adult population. A small number of cases were unable to be matched to the Scottish Postcode Directory (either the postcode was unknown, missing or the applicant supplied a postcode outside of Scotland) and therefore not included in a local authority and listed as ‘unknown’. These cases have been included in the overall Scotland totals and rates. For all three statutory debt solutions unknown postcodes accounted for less than 1% of annual statutory debt solutions in recent years. A postcode quality file is available from AiB.
Changes in legislation and policy can affect the extent to which comparisons can be made over time for individual data series. Where such changes are known, they have been highlighted in the general background notes for the quarterly Scottish Insolvency Statistics and the monthly Scottish Statutory Debt Solutions Statistics, available from AiB.
Further information on the historical trends of the statutory debt solution in Scotland can also be found in AiB’s annual corporate report and quarterly statistics reports.
The number of Scottish statutory debt solutions and the rate per 10,000 adults presented in this dataset may not be consistent with the official, quarterly (and monthly) statistics. This dataset is based on data extracted from the live database at a different point in time and on a different basis. Differences between the two sources are larger for earlier years where historic data extracts have been used. The quarterly and monthly statistics are the definitive source of the number of Scottish statutory debt solutions in each financial year and the rate per 10,000 adults.
The quarterly Scottish Insolvency Statistics and monthly Scottish Statutory Debt Solutions Statistics are available free of charge to the end user on the AiB website.. They are released via the AiB website, ScotStat and this website.
The statistics produced by AiB are the most complete record of personal insolvencies in Scotland. They include all statutory insolvency procedures available. Statistics on the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS), the only statutory debt management solution available in Scotland, are also published.
This dataset does not include non-statutory debt solutions. This is where debtors make their own arrangements with creditors or enter informal debt management plans with a debt management firm.
Key users of AiB’s insolvency statistics are AiB itself (which has policy responsibility for personal insolvencies in Scotland), the insolvency profession, local authorities, debt advice agencies, media organisations, academics, creditors and the general public.
The latest data relate to the financial year 2019-20. The final, national 2019-20 figures were published in 08 July 2020 as part of the monthly Scottish Statutory Debt Solutions Statistics release. The number of personal insolvencies (count) and the rate per 10,000 adult (aged 16+) population (ratio) in Scotland by local authority in 2019-20 were included in AiB’s annual corporate report, published in 30 September 2020. Future updates to this dataset will be made annually, alongside the publication of AiB’s annual corporate report.
The quarterly Scottish Insolvency Statistical release and the monthly Scottish Statutory Debt Solutions Statistics release contains the latest statistics on statutory debt solutions in Scotland. The Scottish Insolvency Statistics are published on the fourth Wednesday of the month on the AiB website following the end of the quarter being reported on.
Note, the Scottish Insolvency Statistics publications are suspended since March 2020 due to an urgent shift of resource to help manage immediate issues arising from the COVID-19 outbreak. Instead, the monthly Scottish Statutory Debt Solutions Statistics are produced and published on the second Wednesday of the month following the end of the month being reported on. These publication dates allow receipt of all the data inputs, and sufficient time for quality assurance the data extracts, tabulating records and completing the compilation of the statistical release in the publication format.
The rate per 10,000 adults (aged 16+) population is dependent on population estimates at local authority level for the denominator in this calculation. Adult population estimates for each local authority are taken from the National Records of Scotland mid-year estimates, which for mid-2019 were published in April 2020.
Insolvency rates are annually revised, as a result of revisions to the underlying population data published by the National Records of Scotland.
Annual statutory debt solutions in each local authority are based on finalised data and as such there are no associated planned revisions. There are times, however, when revisions may still need to be made. Where ad-hoc revisions are made, they will be highlighted and reasons for any revisions will be given. More information on the revision policy can be requested from AiB.
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